U.N. Director-General Sergei Ordzhonikidze said Friday that calls for “jihad” by a head of state were unacceptable, after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made such a call against Switzerland.
Asked by journalists about one state calling for “jihad” against the other, Ordzhonikidze said: "I believe that such declarations on the part of the head of state are inadmissible in international relations. I'm not even talking about actions," he added.
Gaddafi turned up the heat in his country's dispute with Switzerland on Thursday, calling for “jihad” over a recent Swiss ban on the construction of minarets.
A spokesman for the EU's foreign affairs chief also criticized Gaddafi’s statement calling them "unfortunate."
"Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against (the Prophet) Mohammad, God and the Koran," Gaddafi said during a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi to mark the Prophet's birthday.
"The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold," Gaddafi said.
The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
The Swiss Foreign Ministry said it had no comment on Gaddafi's remarks.
Libya's relations with Switzerland broke down in 2008 when a son of Gaddafi was arrested in a Geneva hotel and charged with abusing domestic servants.
He was released shortly afterwards and the charges were dropped, but Libya cut oil supplies to Switzerland, withdrew billions of dollars from Swiss bank accounts and arrested two Swiss businessmen working in the North African country.
One has been released but the other was forced this week to leave the Swiss embassy in Tripoli where he had been sheltering and move to a prison to serve a four-month sentence, apparently avoiding a major confrontation.
Libya says the Geneva arrest and the case of the two businessmen are not linked.
"Let us fight against Switzerland, Zionism and foreign aggression," said Gaddafi, adding that "this is not terrorism," in contrast with the work of al-Qaeda which he called a "kind of crime and a psychological disease."